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Venture Briefing: November 14, 2018 Venture Briefing: November 14, 2018

Venture Briefing: November 14, 2018

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SEC Disgorgement, Penalties Up 9% to $3.9 Billion in 2018
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed nine percent more enforcement actions in fiscal 2018 despite budgetary constraints, obtaining more than $3.9 billion in disgorgement and penalties. The commission said in its annual report that enforcement actions totaled 821, up from 754 in fiscal 2017.
(Source:, 2018-11-05) Read the full article
Seed Investors Show More Interest in Startups, But Being Pickier
Startups just in their infancy are getting attention from seed investors -- but unlike the dotcom days when every idea got some form of funding, investors are being choosier, resulting in fewer deals but with the ones getting funding enjoying surging valuations. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal citing data from PitchBook, the median size of seed investments so far this year stood at $2 million in the U.S., close to four times more than the $550,000 median back in 2013.
(Source:, 2018-11-12) Read the full article
Private Equity Company Inventory Rose 74 Percent in Four Years
Between 2004 and 2008 -- considered by many to be the boom days of private equity -- PE's combined company inventory climbed 74 percent in the U.S., per a 3Q 2018 M&A Report. The percentages may be falling, but they're still well above zero, and with fresh dry powder starting to hit the market, it's unlikely that PE's inventory will shrink in the near future without some sort of macro development.
(Source: PitchBook, 2018-11-09) Read the full article
Accounting Board Publishes Sustainability Accounting Standards
After six years of preparation, an independent standard-setting organization has published a set of accounting standards aimed at promoting sustainable development. The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board said its standards are the first to combine industry specificity with financial materiality, offering investors a unique tool for comparing the sustainability performance of companies.
(Source:, 2018-11-08) Read the full article
SEC to Hold 'Proxy Process' Review for Corporate Democracy Rules
The U.S. securities regulator is set to review this month rules on corporate democracy, setting it up for a clash with investors who worry the agency will side with companies to diminish voting rights on charged issues like climate change and gun violence. The Securities and Exchange Commission will hold a roundtable on the 'proxy process' by which big pension funds and other shareholders can force companies to vote on a range of environmental, social and governance matters.
(Source: Reuters, 2018-11-09) Read the full article
SEC Reviews Company Compliance with New Revenue Recognition Rules
The Securities and Exchange Commission is homing in on subjective accounting decisions made by finance teams as the regulator reviews how companies comply with new revenue recognition rules. The new accounting standard, which went into effect for public companies on Dec. 16, 2017, replaced prescriptive industry-specific rules with a principles-based, five-step model to make revenue booking for comparable transactions standardized across industries.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2018-11-05) Read the full article
P.E. Funds to Continue Currying Favor with Family Offices
Private equity funds will continue to appeal to family offices for their potentially high returns, with the average allocation projected to rise 73 percent next year from 2017, according to Campden Wealth. Last year, the average family office portfolio invested $51 million in private equities, trailing behind only public equities, and the figure will climb to an average of $68 million in 2018, and to $88 million in 2019, according to a report by the London-based information provider on global family offices.
(Source: Barron's, 2018-11-07) Read the full article
Bill Would Include Fines, Prison for Cybersecurity Violations
A senior Democratic U.S. senator unveiled draft legislation that would allow hefty fines and as much as 20-year prison terms for executives who violate privacy and cybersecurity standards. Senator Ron Wyden released a draft of legislation that would grant the Federal Trade Commission authority to write privacy regulations.
(Source: Reuters, 2018-11-01) Read the full article
Unicorn Startups Rise from Obscurity to Normalcy
This month marks the five-year anniversary of Aileen Lee's landmark article, "Welcome To The Unicorn Club." Today, the once-scarce unicorn has become a global herd with 376 companies on the roster and counting.
(Source: Tech Crunch, 2018-11-11) Read the full article
Accenture Study Says Loss of Trust Can Cost Corporations Billions
It turns out that trust has a dollar value for corporations; a loss of trust can impact corporate growth and profitability. Accenture has published a provocative new study that seeks to quantify the monetary impact of a decline in trust -- and it's in the billions.
(Source: Marketing Land, 2018-11-05) Read the full article
New Proposed Rule on Public Benefits for Foreign Nationals Seeking Immigration Benefits

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the use of public benefits as a potential ground for inadmissibility for foreign nationals seeking certain immigration benefits. Read full article online.


Services Group

Ice Miller has been one of the most active law firms in the private equity industry over the last decade, representing both entrepreneurs building great companies and the private equity firms and individuals that invest in them.  We have extensive experience with all types of funds (formations and operations); mezzanine and senior secured financing; leveraged buyouts, roll-ups, build-ups, and consolidations; divestitures and exits; and complex litigation on behalf of investors and privately financed companies.  In addition, over the past 10 years, Ice Miller has represented hundreds of emerging growth businesses in various industries on such matters as entity formation, capitalization, capital raising, alternative financing, intellectual property rights and protection, growth and exit strategies, corporate governance, tax matters, and many other legal issues that are critical to the growth and success of an emerging company.

Read the complete profile of the Business Group.

Anthony Aaron
Fitz Angrand
James Banister
Richard Barnhart
Samuel Beavers
Christopher Bordoni
Edward Braum
Margaret Butler
Adam Calisoff
Kristine Camron
Timothy Capen
Joshua Christie
Daniel Coman
Ryanne Bush Dent
Jack Dillon
Dustin DuBois
Stephen Edwards
Michael P. Farrell
Jenny Frasier
Harry Gonso
Eric Goodman
Jon Groff

Stephen Hackman
David Hight
Steven Humke
Michael Jordan
Josef Keglewitsch
Tom Kesoglou
Dean Leffelman
Christopher McCleary
Chris Michael
Laurie Miller
Michael Millikan
Robert Ouellette
Thomas Pampush
Megan Ryther
Audrey Schricker
Matthew Servies
Brent Showalter
Scott Snively
Dale Stackhouse
Emily Storm-Smith
Chase Stuart
John Thornburgh
Richard Thrapp


This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice.  The reader must consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances.
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